bunch of chaps from Lille, just across La Manche. They asked me to point out their show is on 28th May (see website http://conventionday.fr/wp) and their game was a futuristic ACW, continuing the conflict into an urban future in a kind of Harry Turtledove way. It looked a lot of fun, and it would be nice to see more links with gamers in Europe. Indeed, on the way back my optio Steve P. mentioned Hamburg and Amsterdam as cities where he’d like to attend shows. I quite fancy Paris – it’d be nice to play a game overlooked by the Eiffel Tower and hautecoiture.
Scimitar Wargames Group of Coventry brought us the hilarious TheGreat AmericanCivilWarZombieRally, with cardboard cut-outs of Union and Confederate zombies, designed by Bob Marley, running around a track. Great for the kids, the rules used were Zombie Rallyfrom Snarling Badger Games, a system that exists just to be played for fun, which IMO is no bad thing.
Meanwhile, Black Pyramid put on a WargodsOfAegyptusin 28mm to also promote their own ranges, likewise Dark Realm a 6mm game. I like this scale, but my eyes and painting skills don’t, and I know it has its adherents in these belttightening times. Moving up a couple of sizes, Gruntz15mmwas a dedicated fast play medium level all-arms game, designed to be useable with all miniature ranges, and future-proofed by being generic. The game presented had beautiful terrain – Japanese model railway buildings being ideal - and run and assisted by various members of the SFSFW, including the always erudite ‘Hairy Ray’, fresh up from Wales, where he lives and works in a pastoral role amongst the native population. The excellent and flexible Gruntzrules are nearing completion – and I was able to see a quality produced A4 mock-up which looks brill, well set-out and colourful. ‘A source close to the author’ suggests it should all be ready for sale at SELWG, so you heard it here first. Also in 15mm, The Wigan Wargames Club did a couple of big games using CriticalMassmaterials.
PulpCityis a 28mm game and range that was new to me, but it’s superhero combat and the boxed sets looked very professionally presented. Set in a fictional 1980s West Coast city, there’s a full PDF download on their website (http://pulp-city.com). So, if you like wearing lycra leotards, masks and your pants on the outside, check this out. Also in this scale, those ‘Brylcream Boys’ at The RAF Wargames Association brought StargateGBto set out to rectify biased American media coverage and game the long overlooked efforts of
our own brave chaps to explore the stars. Hurrah! Let’s hear it for the British space programme!
And Finally There were the usual re-enactors in attendance – strange to see Union and Confederate mustering together – and ‘The Doctor’ was there, as was Lord Vader and his stormtroopers, precise as ever. It may have been because it was my focus, or the choice of theme, but I got the impression there was much more of a sci-fant than an historical presence this year. Trading appeared to be brisk - the knitted wool Cthulhus opposite us sold out in thirty seconds flat - though the crowd thinned a bit in the afternoon as London marathon fever gripped. Also, I must confess I never bother with the Bring & Buy at Salute as its always too packed, which is - I guess - a kind of tribute.
What washeartening was the number of youngsters there, not just to tolerate dad’s shopping, but out to play games and try something new. Disheartening, in this age of the internet, is that so many games don’t provide flyers with details of links to enable further contact, especially given that, at Salute itself, we are all pressed for time. Indeed, a vast range of products were launched at the show and it remains an event you miss at your peril. Well done to the Warlords on another great day out… and another great mug for the collection.